Alrighty! I think I’ve finally found a real purpose for this space so I think it’s finally time to relaunch this thing after a long hiatus. Hopefully it sticks this time.
Japan was great! But enough with the pleasantries.
Well this probably won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone but I pretty much forgot about my new year resolutions the moment I finished writing them so I didn’t end up listening to that many new albums this year.
That said, of the few that I did end up checking out, only D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and FKA Twigs’ M3LL155X stood out.
We really live in the Golden Age of television, don’t we? So many shows brought their A-game this year that trying to keep up with everything was actually fun for me.
1) Fargo (season 2)
2) The Jinx: the Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
3) The Flash (season 2)
4) Mr. Robot
Special mentions: Master of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Narcos, Supergirl and Better Call Saul.
Kind of surprised at myself this year for not having a superhero movie or Pitch Perfect 2 in my top 5…
1) What We Do In The Shadows
2) Mad Max: Fury Road
3) Inside Out
Special mentions: The Martian, Spotlight, Hateful 8, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Ex-Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Pitch Perfect 2.
Not see yet: Room and Carol.
This year really made up for 2014 with really strong releases across the board that just sucked my life away.
2) The Witcher 3
3) Fallout 4
4) Batman: Arkham Knight
5) Xenoblade Chronicles
Special mentions: League of Legends with their awesome updates, Metal Gear Solid V and Dying Light.
Not played yet: Rise of the Tomb Raider
And BOOM goes the dynamite! Another year in the can.
I can’t believe that I’m writing this post from Kyoto right now.
Going to Japan is something that I’ve been waiting to do ever since I played my first Mario game on the NES. While I don’t particularly know why I didn’t do it sooner, I definitely think that it was worth waiting for and that it’s happening at the most perfect time possible for me. Freelancing has given me the time and the money to actually take the trip on my terms, Stefan working hard on overcoming his fear of flying is providing me with one of the best travel buddies I can think of and with JG, Woolie and Jess’ recommendations, not a single second spent here will be wasted. It’s gonna be such an awesome trip. I can just feel it!
I think that over the next two weeks, I’ll do 3 posts chronicling my trip through glorious Nippon with Stefan: the first will cover our trip over here and our days spent in Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. The second will be about our two days learning about the second World War from a Japanese perspective in Hiroshima and the last will probably concern itself with the wacky adventure I’m sure we’ll have in Tokyo. I can’t wait!
I’ve decided to document every new album that I’ll be listening to this year in an effort to keep up with one of my new year’s resolutions.
First up: D’Angelo & The Vanguard’s Black Messiah.
I’m not gonna lie, I probably opened a little strong because Jesus H. Christ, everything about Black Messiah was superb. From the silky smooth beats to the message it carries – especially amidst all the racial tensions in the U.S. that where brought back to the surface last year – made it a fantastic listen from beginning to end.
Another thing that I really liked – and this is perhaps a bit more personal – is that while I’ve always enjoyed how Funk sounds, I never really got around to exploring the genre in as much depth as I would’ve like to. Listening to this album really gave me the desire to read up on the history of Funk and discover artists other than James Brown or Sly and the Family Stone.
Black Messiah gets 5/5 armadillos.
2014 was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It marked the first time in years that I felt like my life stood still instead of pushing forward with the ever-growing momentum that it seemed to be enjoying since that horrible year spent in Sherbrooke, and it was fraught with hardships that tested, changed, and reaffirmed a lot of who I am.
Looking back at it now, with the clarity and perspective that only time can offer, I realize that despite 2014 feeling like it was the worst year that I’ve had in a long time, it was also marked by a lot of small, perfect moments.
Visiting the Sydney Opera House with my mom on our first trip together in years, going to the arcades with Britt, attending the Kraftwerk concert with Max, sitting front-row at Stefan’s first improv show, getting smashed off of old-fashions with Sean while talking about the importance/unimportance/who gives a shit of graphic design, helping my mom recover from her surgery, playing LoL with the boys, going on a walk with Caroline when she got back from Columbia, having dinner at Neil’s with our little PALM family… These are the kind of moments that I want to be able to remember when I look back on my life.
Here’s to hoping tomorrow is the start of something better.
In 2015, I want to:
1) Live healthier
2) Work on personal design projects
3) Listen to a new album a month
4) Read at least 12 books
5) Become a better photographer
Time to bring this tradition back and usher in 2015!
As always, my only guiding criteria for these lists is purely based on what came out this year that brought me the most enjoyment.
This is probably the most difficult list for me to make as I’ve found that the older I get, the lazier I am about discovering new music and really pretty heavily on my friends’ recommendations – most notably Max, Stefan, JG, PTF and Sean. I think one of my new year’s resolutions should be to listen to at least one
or two new album s a month.
1) Syro by Aphex Twin
2) Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes by Thom Yorke
3) St-Vincent by St-Vincent
4) LP1 by FKA Twigs
5) 1989 by Taylor Swift
Special mentions: Our Love by Caribou, Run the Jewels 2 by Run the Jewels and White Women by Chromeo
What a fantastic, FANTASTIC year for television. From True Detective coming out of nowhere, to Fargo defying all expectations, to the Flash actually being a good show; this year really had something to tickle every single one of my fancies. Especially since Breaking Bad ended.
1) True Detective
2) Utopia (U.K.)
4) You’re the Worst
5) The Flash
Special mentions: Face Off, Arrow, Veep, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones
Did I say that music was the most difficult list to write? Because that was totally a lie. It was a pretty solid year for movies and deciding how to order the list and what to cut from it was way more heart-wrenching than I thought it would be.
2) Live. Die. Repeat.
4) Guardians of the Galaxy
Special mentions: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, The Lego Movie, Interstellar, 22 Jump Street, Nightcrawler and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
This was a pretty weak year for games overall as far as I’m concerned. That said, I’m pretty happy with everything that made it onto the list.
1) Bayonetta 2
2) Dark Souls 2
3) Dragon Age: Inquisition
4) The Last of Us: Left Behind
5) Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition
Special mentions: P.T., Bravely Default, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Wolfenstein: The New Order, 2048
So there, that pretty much wraps it up for me. What did you guys think?
When I first quit my job as an Art Director for PALM + HAVAS, I entertained the idea of keeping a blog as a way of documenting my journey into the world of freelance graphic design and self-employment. Being the procrastinator that I am, here we are, half a year (and hundreds of hours of gaming) later, with my first blog post in close to 5 years.
I realize that at 27 years old and with only about three years of professional experience in the industry, I still have a lot of room to grow and things to learn before being able to speak about all fo this with any kind of real authority, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel like a lot has happened and that at least some of it is worth writing down… If nothing else, it’ll hopefully provide me with some measure of entertainment one day down the line, when I reflect back on all of this.
There were a couple of factors that played into my decision to leave my perfectly cushy job as an ad-man; the main one being that I was simply tired of selling cars all the time – Volkswagen Canada being the main account that I worked on at PALM + HAVAS. I wanted to deal with other clients and get involved in Montreal’s burgeoning startup scene, in addition to trying to get a few of my own projects off the ground.
Now that I’m a couple of months into this grand adventure, I think I can safely say that this was the right choice for me. Working with startups and teams like the ones at Third Bridge, cirqles, UGO, Lori.biz and Sex and Cola has been reinvigorating. To see great ideas backed by talented and hungry people from my hometown has renewed my interest in design and motivated me to get off my ass and produce things that I’m passionate about again… and also, landing gigs for clients like Cirque du Soleil, Le Lait and La Vie en Rose doesn’t hurt either.
While I like to think that all of this is the fruit of hard work and my being a halfway decent graphic designer, I would be remiss in thinking that my relative success didn’t have anything to do with the incredible people that I was fortunate enough to cross paths with, who continually have my back even now that I’m not necessarily part of their day-to-day. So a big, heartfelt “thank you” to Jean-Guillaume, François, Cyril, Étienne, Steve, Marina, Julien, Pierre-Étienne, Nicolas, Valérie, and the slew of others I’ve bound to have accidentally left out for helping me to not starve this year.